January 5th, 2012
Meditation has been featured on Breakfast television on BBC over the last two weeks. Usual format, a reporter gives a stereotypical Western viewpoint of what Meditation is, speak to some scientists, joins a group that meditates and see if there is any improvement in any of the participants; say: “mind over matter”, another time slot on the programme filled. Maybe I am been a bit cynical.
There does seem to have been a ground swell increase in interest about “meditation” lately. I can’t figure out whether it is a natural increase in people’s consciousness in their search for spirituality or whether there is some market led manipulative force at work here- i.e. very soon their will be “meditation lounges” in all Tesco stores and Gyms, and sheeple being sheeple will all flock to do meditation because if Tesco and Gyms have it, it must be good!
Now don’t get me wrong, I am really looking at a gift horse in the mouth. I should be jumping on the bandwagon, getting in touch with local papers, local radio, saying “look at us, we do meditation at Shining Tree”. But we have never been very good at marketing ourselves - ranting and raving yes.The outcome of the BBC feature was positive. Basically it concluded that meditation brings about a change in your brain activity and relief of pain http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16406814 It also featured a lady with Lupus ( an auto immune disease characterised with imflammation and pain) who said that meditation helped her. Basically, it finished off with saying its “mind over matter” if it works use it.
My concern with the feature is that Meditation in the Western mind is still perceived as something that is done by wise man and sages and that it is just about sitting quietly. It is of course not- http://www.shiningtree.co.uk/_wp/2011/02/stir-fry-and-meditation-its-a-matter-of-technique/ the article on this link will show you that Meditation is a state of mind, it is mind, body and spirit. The lady with Lupus looked quite unwell to me, and I wonder wonder whether she has a full life style plan such as good nutrition and a comprehensive body awareness programme which covers Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong…………and yes, meditation.
Meditation is not something that you “do” to suppress symptoms. Meditation is a way of life, it’s an attitude, it’s a synthesis of mind, body and spirit.It is not “mind over matter”, it is “mind and matter”. Whenever I watch programmes which show a very shallow understanding of a subject matter, it reminds me of a young child playing with the box rather than the present. We need to grow up.
December 29th, 2011
“…..the power of a universal spirituality and its eight practical elements:
1. Solidarity for all life
2. Moral capacity
5. Selfless service
6. Simplicity of lifestyle
7. Daily practice
8. Serving as a prophetic witness in the causes of justice, peace, and protecting creation” The Mystic heart by Wayne Teasdall
Now you know!
November 16th, 2011
Saw an advert on the TV last night. One was for a new movie system from XBox which was voice activated. While on one level, it seems very positive and a sign of progress in technology; on another level, it’s another opportunity for us to sit on our bum and do even less.
Technology should make our life easier so that we can have more time exploring and making relationships with our physical, emotional and spiritual self. Rather, it has become the golden cow that all everyone wants to worship. Materialism has become the new god to all. Brainwashing and indoctrination is so clever and subtle, you have to admire them…just see the adverts. Buddha said that life is an illusion or a dream. The story of the Emperor’s new clothes demonstrate this……. if ever body around you believe something to be true, it must be true. So how much of what we believe in is our own actual perception and how much of it is manipulation ?
So who do we blame? The bankers? The marketing gurus ( I really believe that if they wanted to, they can persuade you to eat your own baby)? Tesco?
The above is merely a reflection of a part of our own nature. So if we hate them, we are merely hating an aspect of ourselves. If we don’t want to be led and controlled then we must stop acting like sheep, we must all become shepherds- our own shepherd. When the negative aspects of ourselves are balanced by our positives aspect, then the bankers, PR gurus. Tesco and other tyrants and manipulators will disappear like the illusions that they are.
How do we get that balance………….. you got it-meditate.
November 4th, 2011
Practice for the New Millennium by the Dalai Lama The Practice:
1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.
2. Spend 5 minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.
3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet. Practice cherishing the “simplest” person (clerks, attendants, etc) or people you dislike.
4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.
These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful.
The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart.